Joker might have won it big at the Venice Film Festival this year, however, despite all the overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, there are some who fear that Todd Phillips' gritty character study of Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime might encourage violence among its viewers.
Speaking in an interview with Vanity Fair for a profile on Joker's lead star, Joaquin Phoenix, Phillips decided to talk a bit about the film. According to the director, he feels that making comedies in this day and age has become much more difficult because of "woke culture," and it's that struggle that has led him to the Joker movie.
"Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture," the filmmaker said during his interview with the entertainment news outlet "There were articles written about why comedies don't work anymore—I'll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this shit, because I don't want to offend you.' It's hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can't do it, right? So you just go, ‘I'm out.' I'm out, and you know what? With all my comedies—I think that what comedies, in general, all have in common—is they're irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy? Oh I know, let's take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.' And so that's really where that came from."
Joker was pitched as a dark comic book movie that doesn't follow the typical storylines and elements of the superhero movie genre and because of its grit and its darker themes, it's found itself in a sea of controversy. There are some critics who fear the film's real-world impact. According to some, the film's portrayal of violence may incite the same kind of violent actions from individuals with the same personality and the same demeanor as Arthur Fleck.
Because of its controversy, the film has seen some push back from the families of the victims of the Aurora shootings. Theaters have even decided to ban masks and costumes from screenings of Joker to avoid a potential tragedy.
Still, despite all of the issues surrounding the movie, Joker is tracking to be a major commercial success for Warner Brothers.
Joker premieres on October 4, 2019.
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